Girlfriend’s Road Trip: Traveling Together

You were all called to travel the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.(Eph. 4:3, MSG)

This is one of my favorite verses when it comes to friendship and doing life together. From the beginning of time, God knew it was not good for us to be alone. He created us to be together in relationship – with Him and each other. Designed in His image, our need for relationships and community comes from God – who has always been in community – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I sat across the table from two women this weekend (at a retreat I was speaking at) who had been friends for 60 years!!! They were precious and beautiful inside and out! I wanted to spend the whole day with them listening to thier stories about grade school, family vacations, shopping adventures and everything else they’ve done together.

I was envious of how they loved each other, how well they knew each other, and how obvious it was that they enjoyed each other. They’d finish each other’s sentences when one paused. Their husbands had played football together with a few others that were part of their “group”. Now both of them had been widowed and counted on each other for companionship and laughter.

They shared how intentional they’ve been to make it a lasting priority. It didn’t just happen. They’ve vacationed as families for years. When they were young and had little money, they’d all get together to have a meal while all the kids would play. They have a date to play cards once a week. They have an understanding that if one of them is feeling down, they call the other and say, “Hey, I need to get out of the house.” They are there for each other no matter what. I told them how much I admired their friendship.

My friend Aimy was with me, and we talked about how different our generation is – how busy we are, how much we depend on technology over person-to-person contact, how much less our busy generation values time together with friends just talking and having fun. We smiled and told them that in January we’d started getting our families together once a month for dinner and games. Then we laughed and said we hope we live long enough to be friends for sixty years!

Today I thought about them and wondered if there will be anyone in my life that I will know for 30, 40 or 50, much less 60 years. What friend will be able to finish my sentences when I am seventy or eighty years old? Who will know me better than I know myself?

This kind of friendship is a rare treasure. But if I want that treasure in my life, I am the only one who can pray for it, look for it and nurture it. I am the worst about letting life get filled up with tasks that take up all my time and leave me too tired to get together with friends. But I know God did not create me to be a human “doing”. I am a human being and part of that means “being” with my girlfriends. Even if it means we get together for lunch during our busy work day, or meet to plan our menus for the week, do laundry at one of our houses, clean out each others closets, or go run errands together. It’s a start – maybe a road trip to the grocery store with my girlfriend is just what I need!

Jesus’ final prayer for His friends reflected His heart’s desire for us to be closely connected with each other, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21).

Girl Talk. Talk is at the heart of women’s friendships, the core of our connections . So, let’s talk here about ways to get intentional as girlfriends – traveling together both inwardly and outwardly. It’s not easy, I know. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and stories about your friendship journey. Together we can encourage each other with lessons we’ve learned along the way in looking for and being a good friend. Click on the word “comments” below to share.

© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the story of the 2 friends does leave one longing for more… I have found that it is difficult to find a friend that has time to be close. Most of the people who call themselves my “friend”, fit me into their tight schedule and work “around” me. It has often made me feel like I’m imposing on them… How does one find a friend? (or as Anne of Green Gables says: a bosom friend, a kindred spirit). It has been hard to find someone that I could feel that close to since I was in high school many years ago.

    I have tried to build friendships several times but have found that most people do not have time to invest in them. Some of the folks who call themselves my friend have found me an easy place to “dump” their hurts and pains and sometimes the relationship has become unhealthy in that their only vision for our time together is for them to complain. I wonder if my expectation has been too high…but then, I read of the ladies you mentioned and sigh…yes, that is what I would love…to have a friend like that.

    You didn’t mention the “rough times”…I wonder what those ladies would have said about the times they encountered misunderstanding or hurt…and how they dealt with it between themselves???

    Yes…I would like to be, and have “a friend who loves at all times” and “sticks closer than a brother”…although ultimately I know Jesus is that for me…

    Thank you for your thought-provoking article. I pray that each one of us who is longing for a “bosom friend”, would be lead by the LORD to find that friendship….Amen!

  2. Renee,
    Thank you so much for this much needed post today!! It was easier to “catch up” with my friends when my boys were young. We called a “play date” for them when in acutality it was “sanity break” for us!!! Now as most of us have headed back to work, have teenagers working and involved in so much there is little time. And there is such a lonliness in my life that my dear husband just CAN NOT fill, if you know what I mean?? I am going to make a point to meet up with a friend with in the next week. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    Kim from PA

  3. Friends. Hmmm. That’s a touchy subject for me right now. I’ve never been one to have too many close friends; I’ve got several friendly people in my life, but only one best friend. And my best friend and I don’t get to spend nearly enough time together as we are so busy. I’ve got a full-time job, a part-time job that is just shy of being full-time, a daughter who is almost 7 months old, a husband, a home, etc. I’ve got so much “stuff” and I don’t know how to organize my time well enough to make time to develop my friendships. My best friend and I only see each other every couple of months, but we talk via phone and email a good bit. We always know that we are just a phone call away, but we need more than that. We’ve just begun a book study whereby we will meet every Sunday afternoon (at a different coffee shop around town–YUM) to enjoy fellowship and God’s Word.

    Any tips on how to make more time for my friend? We really want to make time for each other; and this book study is a step in the right direction, but there needs to be something more, you know?

    Prayers and Blessings, y’all!
    Rebecca

  4. Renee,

    This is just what I needed today…especially the devo. Even though I do TRY to see my friends regularly, either their busyness or mine is often the roadblock in face to face communication.

    I had the wonderful blessing of taking a road trip with 2 of my best friends. I’ve known one of them since the 5th grade and the other since 10th grade. We left Thursday and went away for 1 night to see a concert in another city. We got a hotel room and had an absolute blast. We ordered pizza at 1:00 am and stayed up in our jammies sitting on the bed talking and laughing.

    You know how much friends mean to me. I’m definitely guilty of checking my email and hoping there’s a message for me from a friend.

    I’m glad you are my friend! Thanks for this great message!
    Love,
    Melissa

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve recently been extremely hurt by someone I counted as my closest friend. It has made me withdraw from other friendships as well, and while I am lonely, I don’t desire to be in a place where I could be that hurt ever again. I am praying for discernment; I’ve been praying for a new friend; I’ve been praying that God will fill this longing.

  6. Renee, I just popped in after reading your P31 devo from today about friendship to let you know that it really spoke to me and was a great reminder to value the face time with friends. I struggle, too, to find the balance and often my pendulum swings too far to the keyboard!

    Your post here, is just as poignant and will have me thinking about friendship all day, I’m sure. Thanks for your transparency!

    Blessings,
    Elisa

  7. Most of my friends are working now. I keep pushing for quick lunches each week to stay more personally in touch. I must say I don’t like that aspect of life in today’s world, all the working women and I struggle with it. I’m not sure what Jesus would say about the choices we make to fill our days, not just working moms but all the activities we involve our children in so they will have all the right opportunities to get ahead in life. Perhaps a more simple life would lead to more depth in our spirits, more families who see each other, more peace in the home, more time for others. Hmmmm, I think you hit a nerve. I think we need to re-evaluate what we “need” and what Jesus would say we really need. The world has certainly enticed us and seems to have divided us.

  8. Thanks for the devotion today Renee.

    So much has gone on the past few months, that I have had to slow down to make sure I am taking care of my family as much as I should and in a way that glorifies God.

    I have not had much time for my friends (I only have a few I can call true friends) and they have not had much time either.

    Where does all the time go? Everybody has so many responsibilities. I have set playdates and have had to cancel for many reasons or vice versa. I have met ladies I think I could be friends with and then something weird will happen or she will say something that lets me know to back off or just have this one relationship as a casual acquaintence.

    I have prayed and will continue praying for a GIRLfriend that I can have the type of friendship you described here today and will reexamine the ladies who are already in my life to see if I may be missing something or someone God already has placed in my path. I know I also need to BE a friend first, make extra efforts, if this is what I really want.

    In the meantime, I know that I am a friend of God and he has given me hubby on earth and my girlfriend best friend is not very far away.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We have had many “friendship” conversations in our home over the past several years, what with having 4 daughters and 2 sons. How to find friends, how to be a friend, etc. Honestly, is seems that most women (and girls) are not open to new friendships, do not realize the reciprocal nature of a friendship,and are reluctant to the nurture and care that a relationship needs. For myself, I have one very close friend of nearly 30 years, but I have longed for a wider circle. I have come to the conclusion that while I would dearly love to have a few close friends, it is God who is in control of that too….I will keep looking to be a friend if He provides. Another thought, perhaps our children and extended family should/could be the basis of our closest friendships? I’m not sure about this, sometimes I do long for conversation with my peers rather than 20 somethings, and my closest extended family are not believers, so that is difficult at times. I am interested in reading other comments on this subject. cathy

  10. We’ve moved alot. So it’s hard to develop & maintian friendships. I truly cherish those who care enough to stay in touch. Even tho’ I can’t always see family & friends, it helps to know what’s going on in their lives.

    My best friend from HS is being surrounded by family & friends thru a website set up by the hosp. her son is going thru cancer trmnts. in again. Last summer; our kids & a couple of their friends & I, travelled to help celebrate what we tho’t was his last trmnt. It was so good to hug her & see her smiling face; & meet some of her new church friends ! = ) She still looks young & vibrant as ever ! = ) We were also able to stop & see other family & friends on the way there & back, which was great ! = )

    Like the early riser blogger; I too enjoy “Anne” & have read & watched all of them, as well as Janette Oke’s. Canada produced some great authors & singers ! = ) Must be how they thrive in their winters ! = )

  11. I agree with anonymous and the other ladies that friendship is very difficult however for me I realized I never really knew how to make friends. I have one really good friend from childhood but we live in different parts of the country. I have been praying lately that God help me to become intentional with my friendhships and not be afraid of rejection. That’s it I am afraid of being rejected or feeling rejected because plans fall through, God is really working on me in this area.
    I am a mother of three, wife, part-time student, full-time worker, and a host of other things but I still desire true friendship like in the story.

  12. Friendships are very important to me, and even more so since we relocated to an area where we didn’t know anyone. I have been in the many places I have read about here in the comments. I’ve been in the place of loneliness with no friends to comfort me; I’ve been the one with friends vying for my time in the midst of a busy schedule with family, church, work; I’ve been the friend desperately trying to squeeze in to a friends hectic life; I’ve been the friend who trusted another and was hurt terribly to the point of withdrawal from other friendships. I must say that no matter what station you are at in life, it can be very difficult to get and keep friendships that will last. I could write on and on about the details of it all, and probably bore you to no end. But, if I were pressed to sum up what I’ve learned about being ‘the friend’ at each stage, here is what I would say …

    God is first – He has always been the one true friend who doesn’t disappoint, disappear, or disengage!

    Prayer is vital – That God will provide the friendship(s) you need and desire, and that He would show you which ones to let go of and which ones to focus on. Sometimes we try to hold on friends that were meant to be there for us in a special season of our lives – when God may have another person in mind for the next season, or for your long-time, 60 year-old best friend.

    Purpose is a must – When you find that special friend (or friends), or if you already have that friendship, you must pursue it. Make sure you both agree on what friendship is, and what makes you feel close as friends(i.e. some people need to connect with their friend(s) daily, while others are more casual about it).Be intentional about your time together – schedule it on the calendar as a commitment (not optional) – and get together as often as you can – even if just for 30 min. of chatting at Starbucks.

    You may hit a truly busy season in your life that forces your friendship time to the ‘back burner’ for a while. There are thoughtful things you can do during that time that only take a minute, but leave a lasting impression on your friends. You can send an upbeat thinking-of-you card and drop it in the mail with a note that says ‘Sorry I’ve been so busy… missing you’ and suggest a tentative future date to catch up. Drop by their work or home with a special note or gift saying I just have minute but wanted you to know I’m thinking of you. It helps to maintain the closeness of the friendships when time can’t stretch far enough.

    Lastly, always forgive quickly. Quickly is the key here, before an offense has time to take root and grow. You treasure the friendship and no offense is worth losing it over. If you run to God immediately, He will take care of everything, and you can continue to take care of your treasured friendship.

    That’s what works for me, and I hope it encourages you to pursue those lasting friendships with purpose. “Two are better than one …”

    Laura

  13. Thank you for the devotional Renee. Reading the other comments it seems we all struggle with this concept. With jobs, marriages, and kids we are all just so busy. Add to that the problems women have in general for carving time out for themselves and it all adds up to “no close friendships”.

    But we do need to take time. This subject has been on my heart for the past few months. And while most of my friends aren’t friends with each other as well, for various reasons, I have been trying to reconnect with some of them. I have made it a point to meet with a friend once a week for coffee, a walk, something.

    In February I reconnected with a friend I haven’t talked to in almost a year. Our relationship ended with both of us hurt for each our own reasons. I decided it didn’t matter who was right and who was wrong. I swallowed my pride, picked up the phone, and said I miss you. We are planning to start meeting again in May for Bible study like we used to. 30 minutes of catching up, an hour for study. The kids are settled in for the night, dinner has been provided, and I slip out the door to meet her. My husband understands that for one night I need to do this.

    Girls, having close friendships and taking time out for us makes us better able to love our families more fully. When we refill our cup, we have more to give from the overflow.

  14. What a treasure it is when you find a true friendship like you described here. How precious.

    I think one of the ways we can establish friendships like that is by not allowing the excuse, “I’m too busy.” We live in such a fast paced society, that we need to deliberately choose to be different and sometimes go against the flow. But isn’t that what God calls us to do as His followers? We are called to be different. We march to the beat of a different drummer.

    For myself I find that I desire this type of friendship. I had found it with a dear friend of mine, but unfortunately on Friday she just moved many states away. Even though I am keenly aware of the loss in my life, I have started praying that God will bring a new friend into my life that also desires a close friendship. Someone that is interested in spurring women into a closer relationship with the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I’m the oddball. I see many women at church that are caught in the rat race of this world.

    Sigh… It isn’t always an easy road, is it?

    Pearls

  15. Anonymous says:

    I moved to a different state a year ago…I had lived in the same house, for 25 years…attended the same church for 24 years…had formed close friendships with a handful of lovely ladies.

    This past year, I kept telling myself, “It’s only been a XX (enter number here) months, it’ll be ok, you’ll find friends in this new home.” But I haven’t yet…

    Difficult (or good) times are so much better with good friends nearby to listen to, cry with or laugh with.

    This past year, I have turned to my friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24)…but I know that someday I will have to form friendships with people here in my new hometown.

    I need to be a friend in order to form friendships…so thank you for the reminder to pray for God’s help in taking the time to form these friendships.

  16. Renee,
    I just read your devotional, and this post and it speaks so clearly to my heart. i too have been checking and rechecking my email, scanning my blog for any new comments, craving that connection that only comes face to face, not through cyberspace! I’ve met some amazing women through the blogging community, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but you are so right when you say that cannot replace a real live moment shared with a special friend. Thank you for encouraging me in this matter, and letting me know that I am not alone.

  17. what a great blog and devotional to read today. i am apart of a group of 5 women from church who like to get together for breakfast once in a while. i am in charge of coordinating and we haven’t met since November!! So I sent out an email right now to get something on the calendar within the next few weeks. thanks for the encouragement & reminder that God made us to be social!! Blessings!!

  18. Renee:
    I have many friends, but only one close, kindred spirit kind of friend. She came into my life 15 years ago, but with time and distance, we have grown apart.

    I spend Tuesday with the women in my life. At lunch with my 70+ years crowd, and in the evenings with my Bible study bunch. I call them sacred Tuesdays, for they are life to me.

    As a pastor’s wife, I struggle with loneliness. My trust has been broken time and again, so I sometimes stay away to protect myself and my family.

    I long for a “boasting in Jesus” kind of friend. I long for the wisdom of wise mentor…someone who has lived longer and is willing to invest their time and energy into spiritual pilgrimage.

    I’ve given these hopes in prayer to God. My hope for a friend has not been lost on Him. He has been that friend, and the intimacy I now share with him probably would have never come about if I were dependent on others to meet my needs.

    Blogging has been a wonderful tool that God has used to bless my life with new friends, and so I say, thank you, Renee,…for keeping us all connected in Christ.

    You are a blessing to me!
    peace~elaine

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have had 1 truely devoted friendship but alas it disovled. I find it very hard to make new friends because I am so shy. I have worked in a couple of places and thought I had found a true friend,but when I moved 45 mins. away and started a new job the friend I thought I had found could no longer find time to even talk on the phone. It is sad to think that some people can not put work into a relationship that could be so good. I have tried with other people and it is always the same. It ends with them saying call me sometime and we will get together, needless to say after calling them repeatedly I get the feeling it is to much for them so I then start feeling rejected and figure it is their turn to call me. Shy

  20. Anonymous says:

    How can we have strong, lasting relationships with other women? Be a good friend to others. I’ve had those times where I would check my email throughout the day hoping someone might have emailed me but I found that the best way to remedy this situation is to reach out to someone else. Learn to be resourceful. I’ve stopped by Starbucks before going to a friend’s house and helping her clean house while we visit. I have another friend who I carpool to work with once a week. We’re all busy. Why not be busy together and make it more fun?

  21. Hi Renee,
    I could use your help. I am trying to survey as many women as possible. If you have a few minutes, I would love your input on my blog in regards to the ten struggles that Christian women face. Thank you!

  22. Wow! I’ve just read your comments on friendships, and truly relate to each one. Initiating and building friendships with other women has always been very difficult for me. I also struggle with fear of rejection, or feeling like I would be an intrusion or I’d be imposing. God has blessed me with one kindred spirit, and I am so grateful for her. However, I do long for other close girlfriends with whom I can share life with.

    Thank you, Laura, for the points you shared, and the encouragement to pursue those lasting friendships. I will begin praying more often for the courage to pursue, and be the friend God wants me to be.

    Elaine, thank you for sharing your heart. I echo your longing to have another “boasting in Jesus” kind of friend…(I LOVE that phrase!), and I, too, have been praying for a mentor type relationship. Also, my father is a pastor, and i know my mom struggles with loneliness, too, and some of the same issues, that you mentioned. I’m going to tell her about this devotional!

    Thank you, Renee.

  23. Anonymous says:

    thank you for your post this is what i’ve been missing i did have a group of close friends but things went bad and we stopped talking to each other since then i vowed to never let any other females into my heart cause i had been betrayed so badly, and its been this way for several years now i was in a bad relationship and i was by nyself going thru this when things get tough i push people away and i come around when things are going good for me i know that this isnt the way things are supposed to be but i have been able to make it thru some really tough times living like this but i guess it really isnt living i would like to make friends with people who i could really talk to without feeling like i’m burdening them with my sad stories. i dont know how to do thisany other way seems like every single friend i’ve evr had has at one time hurt me so i left the relationship out of embaressment or fear your post gives me hope that maybe one day i will beable to make friends with people who will love me no matter what i’ve done or been thru. i am in the process of starting all over in life need a job a place to live and maybe make some decent friends for once thanks again

  24. Renee: Your devotion and blog entry today both blessed me and are speaking to my heart! Godly friendships are such a rich blessing. Actually, for my birthday a few weeks ago, I told my wonderful husband, Jim, that a favorite gift would be to go have lunch with some special friends. So, my sweet husband treated me and 12 friends to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! What a miracle that we all could steal away for several hours on a Saturday afternoon. It was a fun, meaningful and refreshing time! Being with these special friends and nourishing these relationships was a terrific “dream come true” gift for me as a woman. I am so very thankful!

    Thanks for speaking girlfriend language, Renee! Hugs to you!

  25. Very timely post….

    I wish I could say I had a friend for 60 years….

    I know someone who just turned 40 and she has had 2 friends since she was 4! That’s 36 years and it seems that they are still close.

    I grieve the fact that I cannot say I have had a friend for 36 years — let alone 60.

    I am really struggling in my friendships right now. I’m not sure why. Sometimes it feels like people don’t even see me.

    I am what I call “easy to walk away from.” Even at church I notice it. People will be having a lengthy conversation and then I walk up and it is over in 2 minutes. It seems like everyone is looking for someone else to talk to while talking to me!

    I know that friendships will never be completely 50-50. That might swing 20-80 and then 60-40 or whatever, but there is a balance over time. I can’t seem to find the balance.

    I’m sorry that all sounds so bad. I’m really not trying to sound “poor me” but I’ve felt so sad about friendships the last couple of days that you touched a tender chord.

    I may have to regroup and come back later!

  26. I’ve regrouped. I’m back.

    I think one of the things I struggle with is that I’m single. That’s not quite right. Sometimes its that people assume that since I am single I should hang out with only people who are single. But even though two people are single, it doesn’t mean that they are naturally a good fit for each other.

    I see my married friends make time for other married folks but don’t feel like it always comes my way. I’m counted on for kid care while they go out . . . ouch.

    They say, “You should hang with . . . (another single)” Sometimes I’ll try but it is rarely a good fit.

    I don’t know how to explain it.

    It’s just that in my life I long to just have someone I can call at 2:00AM if I need to or call just to chat at a reasonable hour. When I try that now, I always feel like I’m impossing. And no one ever calls me just for those things! I would do cartwheels if they did.

    Some friends have a 2 numbers — one for general population and 1 for family and a few select others. I so long to be on someone’s short list!

    I know Jesus is my friend. but I would really like a best, best, best friend with skin on!

    They say to have a friend you first have to be one. I think I do offer friendship. I’m just not sure that being a friend is all there is to it. Does that make any sense?

    I’m rambling and weep a again. I’d better go.

    Friendship, I fear, is a lost art.

  27. Boy, Renee, you sure did strike a chord with this post! I’m posting again because I am deeply moved by the pangs of loneliness so many of us feel. Teach us more, friend! We need God’s words of wisdom via your pen!

    peace~elaine

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to all who left such heartfelt comments.You all have made me feel so much better about the struggles and hurts I am currently feeling right now with friendships.I am not alone. I believe this is all part of our learning process here on earth and if we are constantly asking the Lord, “What do you want me to learn from this, He will give us an answer in His perfect timing. But dog on it… it still hurts!! I think for many of us this is a taboo topic with friends, even our very close friends because of our fear of rejection or the fear that our friends may think we are really insecure.

    People that know me say wow you have so many friends,but the truth is it has been so difficult to find a friend that values a deep, honest and real mutual friendship. A friend that you know would do absolutely anything for you( within reason of course),and that is a friend you will have for life.

    My uncle told me when I was 20, at the end of my life if I could count 5 true life long friends I would be extremely blessed. I chuckled and said are you kidding me? Now I see the truth and reality in that comment.
    Lets keep this discussion going as it is so theraputic!!

  29. this is for amy i brooke,
    Thank you for sharing from your heart about how hard it has been for you and finding friends. In reading everyones posts I have come to realize that there are more of us women that are lonely than not. WOW….I think that I will try to not make anymore assumptions in my mind about why someone might not want to be my friend.

    I have had several really close friends over the years–they have for the most part been mothers of friends of my sons. As our children got older and chose different interests is when things seem to go bad. I don’t know if it was jealousy or what but I have really stayed away from this situation for my hearts sake. I have some real close “older women” friends now who have been through teenagers and offer me great advice but it still isn’t quite what I had experienced in the past.

    Amy, thanks for opening my eyes to your pain–i hope it will help me to be more friendly to others and take the opportunity to “open up” a bit to them.

    Kim from PA

  30. I have been blessed with friends over the years, but many of them are just for a season, and when that season is over, i miss them so much.

    one friend of mine has been with me through thick and thin. She has blessed me by sticking by me when she didn’t agree with my choices, when she was outright mad at me, and when she felt i was completely walking away from God. She was still there when I turned around, and started making right choices again, and we have stayed close ever since.

    I got married and our relationship changed some, we saw each other less, but we talked more on teh phone and email. Now she is heading overseas for a year mission trip, she has a boyfriend, and again our friendship has changed. but she still is the person who has stood the test of time, and I know that we will still be close when she gets back home in a year.

    In the meantime, God has blessed me with a very close friendship of an older woman, who’s children are grown. she has walked a tough path in her life, and speaks such wisdom into mine. She has been walking with me down the tough road of depression I have going through right now… and rejoicing with me when there is victory. She is someone with whom I feel extremely safe, and she feels safe with me. She and I have been able to share and pray for each other and genuinely enjoy each others company.

    She and I became fast friends at the start of this past summer, almost from the first time we met. WE haven’t known each other long, but it doesn’t matter. I feel complete trust in her and I know God gave me this friendship/sisterhood with her. He heard my desperate cry for someone to be connected to who lived near me, unlike my other friend hours away. Up to this point it had been hard to connect to anyone even close to my age. She and I are just under 20 years apart in age, i could be her daughter, but truly sisters at heart.
    I thank God for her, because i have been so lonely up till this summer. Everytime I made a friend, they moved away. So i had given up trying anymore.
    God heard, God answered.

    May God do the same for others of us who are lonely and in need of friends right where they are at, physical, touchable people to reach out to.
    Love you all, and thank you for sharing your hearts.
    Heather

  31. Thought I checked this blog daily. .. don’t know how I missed this.

    Friendship is indeed a struggle for me. I take friendship seriously, but most of the time my friendships have been pretty one-sided — meaning I’m the one who takes most of the initiative. I don’t keep score, but after a while it would be nice to have someone call ME instead of the other way around.

    In the past year I have been very hurt by a close friend who moved away, dropped contact, then moved back and didn’t resume the friendship…i.e. didn’t even tell me she was back in town until I heard it from someone else. Our kids were best friends. We have had a couple of cordial email contacts since but there’s been no interest expressed in getting together. Now she is going through chemo for breast cancer. When I emailed her my sorrow and prayers for that, she invited me to come visit when I have some time. And I struggle with what to do. I’m a forgiving person, but I feel the need to protect my heart and that of my kids and I’m not sure it’s the wisest thing to do. (And to complicate things, our husbands do not see eye to eye on some major issues.)

    You’ve obviously struck quite a chord with this topic!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure I will fit in on this site. I am not caucasin and all the pictures of the women I see are.

  33. It’s about time soomnee wrote about this.

Share Your Thoughts

*

Girlfriend’s Road Trip: Traveling Together

You were all called to travel the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. (Eph. 4:3, MSG)

This is one of my favorite verses when it comes to friendship and doing life together. From the beginning of time, God knew it was not good for us to be alone. He created us to be together in relationship – with Him and each other. Designed in His image, our need for relationships and community comes from God – who has always been in community – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I sat across the table from two women this weekend (at a retreat I was speaking at) who had been friends for 60 years!!! They were precious and beautiful inside and out! I wanted to spend the whole day with them listening to thier stories about grade school, family vacations, shopping adventures and everything else they’ve done together.

I was envious of how they loved each other, how well they knew each other, and how obvious it was that they enjoyed each other. They’d finish each other’s sentences when one paused. Their husbands had played football together with a few others that were part of their “group”. Now both of them had been widowed and counted on each other for companionship and laughter.

They shared how intentional they’ve been to make it a lasting priority. It didn’t just happen. They’ve vacationed as families for years. When they were young and had little money, they’d all get together to have a meal while all the kids would play. They have a date to play cards once a week. They have an understanding that if one of them is feeling down, they call the other and say, “Hey, I need to get out of the house.” They are there for each other no matter what. I told them how much I admired their friendship.

My friend Aimy was with me, and we talked about how different our generation is – how busy we are, how much we depend on technology over person-to-person contact, how much less our busy generation values time together with friends just talking and having fun. We smiled and told them that in January we’d started getting our families together once a month for dinner and games. Then we laughed and said we hope we live long enough to be friends for sixty years!

Today I thought about them and wondered if there will be anyone in my life that I will know for 30, 40 or 50, much less 60 years. What friend will be able to finish my sentences when I am seventy or eighty years old? Who will know me better than I know myself?

This kind of friendship is a rare treasure. But if I want that treasure in my life, I am the only one who can pray for it, look for it and nurture it. I am the worst about letting life get filled up with tasks that take up all my time and leave me too tired to get together with friends. But I know God did not create me to be a human “doing”. I am a human being and part of that means “being” with my girlfriends. Even if it means we get together for lunch during our busy work day, or meet to plan our menus for the week, do laundry at one of our houses, clean out each others closets, or go run errands together. It’s a start – maybe a road trip to the grocery store with my girlfriend is just what I need!

Jesus’ final prayer for His friends reflected His heart’s desire for us to be closely connected with each other, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21).

Girl Talk. Talk is at the heart of women’s friendships, the core of our connections . So, let’s talk here about ways to get intentional as girlfriends – traveling together both inwardly and outwardly. It’s not easy, I know. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and stories about your friendship journey. Together we can encourage each other with lessons we’ve learned along the way in looking for and being a good friend. Click on the word “comments” below to share.

© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the story of the 2 friends does leave one longing for more… I have found that it is difficult to find a friend that has time to be close. Most of the people who call themselves my “friend”, fit me into their tight schedule and work “around” me. It has often made me feel like I’m imposing on them… How does one find a friend? (or as Anne of Green Gables says: a bosom friend, a kindred spirit). It has been hard to find someone that I could feel that close to since I was in high school many years ago.

    I have tried to build friendships several times but have found that most people do not have time to invest in them. Some of the folks who call themselves my friend have found me an easy place to “dump” their hurts and pains and sometimes the relationship has become unhealthy in that their only vision for our time together is for them to complain. I wonder if my expectation has been too high…but then, I read of the ladies you mentioned and sigh…yes, that is what I would love…to have a friend like that.

    You didn’t mention the “rough times”…I wonder what those ladies would have said about the times they encountered misunderstanding or hurt…and how they dealt with it between themselves???

    Yes…I would like to be, and have “a friend who loves at all times” and “sticks closer than a brother”…although ultimately I know Jesus is that for me…

    Thank you for your thought-provoking article. I pray that each one of us who is longing for a “bosom friend”, would be lead by the LORD to find that friendship….Amen!

  2. tiggerdaisy says:

    Friends. Hmmm. That’s a touchy subject for me right now. I’ve never been one to have too many close friends; I’ve got several friendly people in my life, but only one best friend. And my best friend and I don’t get to spend nearly enough time together as we are so busy. I’ve got a full-time job, a part-time job that is just shy of being full-time, a daughter who is almost 7 months old, a husband, a home, etc. I’ve got so much “stuff” and I don’t know how to organize my time well enough to make time to develop my friendships. My best friend and I only see each other every couple of months, but we talk via phone and email a good bit. We always know that we are just a phone call away, but we need more than that. We’ve just begun a book study whereby we will meet every Sunday afternoon (at a different coffee shop around town–YUM) to enjoy fellowship and God’s Word.

    Any tips on how to make more time for my friend? We really want to make time for each other; and this book study is a step in the right direction, but there needs to be something more, you know?

    Prayers and Blessings, y’all!
    Rebecca

  3. Renee,
    Thank you so much for this much needed post today!! It was easier to “catch up” with my friends when my boys were young. We called a “play date” for them when in acutality it was “sanity break” for us!!! Now as most of us have headed back to work, have teenagers working and involved in so much there is little time. And there is such a lonliness in my life that my dear husband just CAN NOT fill, if you know what I mean?? I am going to make a point to meet up with a friend with in the next week. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    Kim from PA

  4. Renee,

    This is just what I needed today…especially the devo. Even though I do TRY to see my friends regularly, either their busyness or mine is often the roadblock in face to face communication.

    I had the wonderful blessing of taking a road trip with 2 of my best friends. I’ve known one of them since the 5th grade and the other since 10th grade. We left Thursday and went away for 1 night to see a concert in another city. We got a hotel room and had an absolute blast. We ordered pizza at 1:00 am and stayed up in our jammies sitting on the bed talking and laughing.

    You know how much friends mean to me. I’m definitely guilty of checking my email and hoping there’s a message for me from a friend.

    I’m glad you are my friend! Thanks for this great message!
    Love,
    Melissa

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve recently been extremely hurt by someone I counted as my closest friend. It has made me withdraw from other friendships as well, and while I am lonely, I don’t desire to be in a place where I could be that hurt ever again. I am praying for discernment; I’ve been praying for a new friend; I’ve been praying that God will fill this longing.

  6. Renee, I just popped in after reading your P31 devo from today about friendship to let you know that it really spoke to me and was a great reminder to value the face time with friends. I struggle, too, to find the balance and often my pendulum swings too far to the keyboard!

    Your post here, is just as poignant and will have me thinking about friendship all day, I’m sure. Thanks for your transparency!

    Blessings,
    Elisa

  7. grey like snuffie says:

    Most of my friends are working now. I keep pushing for quick lunches each week to stay more personally in touch. I must say I don’t like that aspect of life in today’s world, all the working women and I struggle with it. I’m not sure what Jesus would say about the choices we make to fill our days, not just working moms but all the activities we involve our children in so they will have all the right opportunities to get ahead in life. Perhaps a more simple life would lead to more depth in our spirits, more families who see each other, more peace in the home, more time for others. Hmmmm, I think you hit a nerve. I think we need to re-evaluate what we “need” and what Jesus would say we really need. The world has certainly enticed us and seems to have divided us.

  8. Thanks for the devotion today Renee.

    So much has gone on the past few months, that I have had to slow down to make sure I am taking care of my family as much as I should and in a way that glorifies God.

    I have not had much time for my friends (I only have a few I can call true friends) and they have not had much time either.

    Where does all the time go? Everybody has so many responsibilities. I have set playdates and have had to cancel for many reasons or vice versa. I have met ladies I think I could be friends with and then something weird will happen or she will say something that lets me know to back off or just have this one relationship as a casual acquaintence.

    I have prayed and will continue praying for a GIRLfriend that I can have the type of friendship you described here today and will reexamine the ladies who are already in my life to see if I may be missing something or someone God already has placed in my path. I know I also need to BE a friend first, make extra efforts, if this is what I really want.

    In the meantime, I know that I am a friend of God and he has given me hubby on earth and my girlfriend best friend is not very far away.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We have had many “friendship” conversations in our home over the past several years, what with having 4 daughters and 2 sons. How to find friends, how to be a friend, etc. Honestly, is seems that most women (and girls) are not open to new friendships, do not realize the reciprocal nature of a friendship,and are reluctant to the nurture and care that a relationship needs. For myself, I have one very close friend of nearly 30 years, but I have longed for a wider circle. I have come to the conclusion that while I would dearly love to have a few close friends, it is God who is in control of that too….I will keep looking to be a friend if He provides. Another thought, perhaps our children and extended family should/could be the basis of our closest friendships? I’m not sure about this, sometimes I do long for conversation with my peers rather than 20 somethings, and my closest extended family are not believers, so that is difficult at times. I am interested in reading other comments on this subject. cathy

  10. We’ve moved alot. So it’s hard to develop & maintian friendships. I truly cherish those who care enough to stay in touch. Even tho’ I can’t always see family & friends, it helps to know what’s going on in their lives.

    My best friend from HS is being surrounded by family & friends thru a website set up by the hosp. her son is going thru cancer trmnts. in again. Last summer; our kids & a couple of their friends & I, travelled to help celebrate what we tho’t was his last trmnt. It was so good to hug her & see her smiling face; & meet some of her new church friends ! = ) She still looks young & vibrant as ever ! = ) We were also able to stop & see other family & friends on the way there & back, which was great ! = )

    Like the early riser blogger; I too enjoy “Anne” & have read & watched all of them, as well as Janette Oke’s. Canada produced some great authors & singers ! = ) Must be how they thrive in their winters ! = )

  11. blossom73 says:

    I agree with anonymous and the other ladies that friendship is very difficult however for me I realized I never really knew how to make friends. I have one really good friend from childhood but we live in different parts of the country. I have been praying lately that God help me to become intentional with my friendhships and not be afraid of rejection. That’s it I am afraid of being rejected or feeling rejected because plans fall through, God is really working on me in this area.
    I am a mother of three, wife, part-time student, full-time worker, and a host of other things but I still desire true friendship like in the story.

  12. Friendships are very important to me, and even more so since we relocated to an area where we didn’t know anyone. I have been in the many places I have read about here in the comments. I’ve been in the place of loneliness with no friends to comfort me; I’ve been the one with friends vying for my time in the midst of a busy schedule with family, church, work; I’ve been the friend desperately trying to squeeze in to a friends hectic life; I’ve been the friend who trusted another and was hurt terribly to the point of withdrawal from other friendships. I must say that no matter what station you are at in life, it can be very difficult to get and keep friendships that will last. I could write on and on about the details of it all, and probably bore you to no end. But, if I were pressed to sum up what I’ve learned about being ‘the friend’ at each stage, here is what I would say …

    God is first – He has always been the one true friend who doesn’t disappoint, disappear, or disengage!

    Prayer is vital – That God will provide the friendship(s) you need and desire, and that He would show you which ones to let go of and which ones to focus on. Sometimes we try to hold on friends that were meant to be there for us in a special season of our lives – when God may have another person in mind for the next season, or for your long-time, 60 year-old best friend.

    Purpose is a must – When you find that special friend (or friends), or if you already have that friendship, you must pursue it. Make sure you both agree on what friendship is, and what makes you feel close as friends(i.e. some people need to connect with their friend(s) daily, while others are more casual about it).Be intentional about your time together – schedule it on the calendar as a commitment (not optional) – and get together as often as you can – even if just for 30 min. of chatting at Starbucks.

    You may hit a truly busy season in your life that forces your friendship time to the ‘back burner’ for a while. There are thoughtful things you can do during that time that only take a minute, but leave a lasting impression on your friends. You can send an upbeat thinking-of-you card and drop it in the mail with a note that says ‘Sorry I’ve been so busy… missing you’ and suggest a tentative future date to catch up. Drop by their work or home with a special note or gift saying I just have minute but wanted you to know I’m thinking of you. It helps to maintain the closeness of the friendships when time can’t stretch far enough.

    Lastly, always forgive quickly. Quickly is the key here, before an offense has time to take root and grow. You treasure the friendship and no offense is worth losing it over. If you run to God immediately, He will take care of everything, and you can continue to take care of your treasured friendship.

    That’s what works for me, and I hope it encourages you to pursue those lasting friendships with purpose. “Two are better than one …”

    Laura

  13. Thank you for the devotional Renee. Reading the other comments it seems we all struggle with this concept. With jobs, marriages, and kids we are all just so busy. Add to that the problems women have in general for carving time out for themselves and it all adds up to “no close friendships”.

    But we do need to take time. This subject has been on my heart for the past few months. And while most of my friends aren’t friends with each other as well, for various reasons, I have been trying to reconnect with some of them. I have made it a point to meet with a friend once a week for coffee, a walk, something.

    In February I reconnected with a friend I haven’t talked to in almost a year. Our relationship ended with both of us hurt for each our own reasons. I decided it didn’t matter who was right and who was wrong. I swallowed my pride, picked up the phone, and said I miss you. We are planning to start meeting again in May for Bible study like we used to. 30 minutes of catching up, an hour for study. The kids are settled in for the night, dinner has been provided, and I slip out the door to meet her. My husband understands that for one night I need to do this.

    Girls, having close friendships and taking time out for us makes us better able to love our families more fully. When we refill our cup, we have more to give from the overflow.

  14. Digging for Pearls says:

    What a treasure it is when you find a true friendship like you described here. How precious.

    I think one of the ways we can establish friendships like that is by not allowing the excuse, “I’m too busy.” We live in such a fast paced society, that we need to deliberately choose to be different and sometimes go against the flow. But isn’t that what God calls us to do as His followers? We are called to be different. We march to the beat of a different drummer.

    For myself I find that I desire this type of friendship. I had found it with a dear friend of mine, but unfortunately on Friday she just moved many states away. Even though I am keenly aware of the loss in my life, I have started praying that God will bring a new friend into my life that also desires a close friendship. Someone that is interested in spurring women into a closer relationship with the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I’m the oddball. I see many women at church that are caught in the rat race of this world.

    Sigh… It isn’t always an easy road, is it?

    Pearls

  15. Anonymous says:

    I moved to a different state a year ago…I had lived in the same house, for 25 years…attended the same church for 24 years…had formed close friendships with a handful of lovely ladies.

    This past year, I kept telling myself, “It’s only been a XX (enter number here) months, it’ll be ok, you’ll find friends in this new home.” But I haven’t yet…

    Difficult (or good) times are so much better with good friends nearby to listen to, cry with or laugh with.

    This past year, I have turned to my friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24)…but I know that someday I will have to form friendships with people here in my new hometown.

    I need to be a friend in order to form friendships…so thank you for the reminder to pray for God’s help in taking the time to form these friendships.

  16. Renee,
    I just read your devotional, and this post and it speaks so clearly to my heart. i too have been checking and rechecking my email, scanning my blog for any new comments, craving that connection that only comes face to face, not through cyberspace! I’ve met some amazing women through the blogging community, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but you are so right when you say that cannot replace a real live moment shared with a special friend. Thank you for encouraging me in this matter, and letting me know that I am not alone.

  17. what a great blog and devotional to read today. i am apart of a group of 5 women from church who like to get together for breakfast once in a while. i am in charge of coordinating and we haven’t met since November!! So I sent out an email right now to get something on the calendar within the next few weeks. thanks for the encouragement & reminder that God made us to be social!! Blessings!!

  18. Renee:
    I have many friends, but only one close, kindred spirit kind of friend. She came into my life 15 years ago, but with time and distance, we have grown apart.

    I spend Tuesday with the women in my life. At lunch with my 70+ years crowd, and in the evenings with my Bible study bunch. I call them sacred Tuesdays, for they are life to me.

    As a pastor’s wife, I struggle with loneliness. My trust has been broken time and again, so I sometimes stay away to protect myself and my family.

    I long for a “boasting in Jesus” kind of friend. I long for the wisdom of wise mentor…someone who has lived longer and is willing to invest their time and energy into spiritual pilgrimage.

    I’ve given these hopes in prayer to God. My hope for a friend has not been lost on Him. He has been that friend, and the intimacy I now share with him probably would have never come about if I were dependent on others to meet my needs.

    Blogging has been a wonderful tool that God has used to bless my life with new friends, and so I say, thank you, Renee,…for keeping us all connected in Christ.

    You are a blessing to me!
    peace~elaine

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have had 1 truely devoted friendship but alas it disovled. I find it very hard to make new friends because I am so shy. I have worked in a couple of places and thought I had found a true friend,but when I moved 45 mins. away and started a new job the friend I thought I had found could no longer find time to even talk on the phone. It is sad to think that some people can not put work into a relationship that could be so good. I have tried with other people and it is always the same. It ends with them saying call me sometime and we will get together, needless to say after calling them repeatedly I get the feeling it is to much for them so I then start feeling rejected and figure it is their turn to call me. Shy

  20. Anonymous says:

    How can we have strong, lasting relationships with other women? Be a good friend to others. I’ve had those times where I would check my email throughout the day hoping someone might have emailed me but I found that the best way to remedy this situation is to reach out to someone else. Learn to be resourceful. I’ve stopped by Starbucks before going to a friend’s house and helping her clean house while we visit. I have another friend who I carpool to work with once a week. We’re all busy. Why not be busy together and make it more fun?

  21. Digging for Pearls says:

    Hi Renee,
    I could use your help. I am trying to survey as many women as possible. If you have a few minutes, I would love your input on my blog in regards to the ten struggles that Christian women face. Thank you!

  22. Wow! I’ve just read your comments on friendships, and truly relate to each one. Initiating and building friendships with other women has always been very difficult for me. I also struggle with fear of rejection, or feeling like I would be an intrusion or I’d be imposing. God has blessed me with one kindred spirit, and I am so grateful for her. However, I do long for other close girlfriends with whom I can share life with.

    Thank you, Laura, for the points you shared, and the encouragement to pursue those lasting friendships. I will begin praying more often for the courage to pursue, and be the friend God wants me to be.

    Elaine, thank you for sharing your heart. I echo your longing to have another “boasting in Jesus” kind of friend…(I LOVE that phrase!), and I, too, have been praying for a mentor type relationship. Also, my father is a pastor, and i know my mom struggles with loneliness, too, and some of the same issues, that you mentioned. I’m going to tell her about this devotional!

    Thank you, Renee.

  23. Anonymous says:

    thank you for your post this is what i’ve been missing i did have a group of close friends but things went bad and we stopped talking to each other since then i vowed to never let any other females into my heart cause i had been betrayed so badly, and its been this way for several years now i was in a bad relationship and i was by nyself going thru this when things get tough i push people away and i come around when things are going good for me i know that this isnt the way things are supposed to be but i have been able to make it thru some really tough times living like this but i guess it really isnt living i would like to make friends with people who i could really talk to without feeling like i’m burdening them with my sad stories. i dont know how to do thisany other way seems like every single friend i’ve evr had has at one time hurt me so i left the relationship out of embaressment or fear your post gives me hope that maybe one day i will beable to make friends with people who will love me no matter what i’ve done or been thru. i am in the process of starting all over in life need a job a place to live and maybe make some decent friends for once thanks again

  24. Sharon Sloan says:

    Renee: Your devotion and blog entry today both blessed me and are speaking to my heart! Godly friendships are such a rich blessing. Actually, for my birthday a few weeks ago, I told my wonderful husband, Jim, that a favorite gift would be to go have lunch with some special friends. So, my sweet husband treated me and 12 friends to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! What a miracle that we all could steal away for several hours on a Saturday afternoon. It was a fun, meaningful and refreshing time! Being with these special friends and nourishing these relationships was a terrific “dream come true” gift for me as a woman. I am so very thankful!

    Thanks for speaking girlfriend language, Renee! Hugs to you!

  25. Amy L Brooke says:

    Very timely post….

    I wish I could say I had a friend for 60 years….

    I know someone who just turned 40 and she has had 2 friends since she was 4! That’s 36 years and it seems that they are still close.

    I grieve the fact that I cannot say I have had a friend for 36 years — let alone 60.

    I am really struggling in my friendships right now. I’m not sure why. Sometimes it feels like people don’t even see me.

    I am what I call “easy to walk away from.” Even at church I notice it. People will be having a lengthy conversation and then I walk up and it is over in 2 minutes. It seems like everyone is looking for someone else to talk to while talking to me!

    I know that friendships will never be completely 50-50. That might swing 20-80 and then 60-40 or whatever, but there is a balance over time. I can’t seem to find the balance.

    I’m sorry that all sounds so bad. I’m really not trying to sound “poor me” but I’ve felt so sad about friendships the last couple of days that you touched a tender chord.

    I may have to regroup and come back later!

  26. Amy L Brooke says:

    I’ve regrouped. I’m back.

    I think one of the things I struggle with is that I’m single. That’s not quite right. Sometimes its that people assume that since I am single I should hang out with only people who are single. But even though two people are single, it doesn’t mean that they are naturally a good fit for each other.

    I see my married friends make time for other married folks but don’t feel like it always comes my way. I’m counted on for kid care while they go out . . . ouch.

    They say, “You should hang with . . . (another single)” Sometimes I’ll try but it is rarely a good fit.

    I don’t know how to explain it.

    It’s just that in my life I long to just have someone I can call at 2:00AM if I need to or call just to chat at a reasonable hour. When I try that now, I always feel like I’m impossing. And no one ever calls me just for those things! I would do cartwheels if they did.

    Some friends have a 2 numbers — one for general population and 1 for family and a few select others. I so long to be on someone’s short list!

    I know Jesus is my friend. but I would really like a best, best, best friend with skin on!

    They say to have a friend you first have to be one. I think I do offer friendship. I’m just not sure that being a friend is all there is to it. Does that make any sense?

    I’m rambling and weep a again. I’d better go.

    Friendship, I fear, is a lost art.

  27. Boy, Renee, you sure did strike a chord with this post! I’m posting again because I am deeply moved by the pangs of loneliness so many of us feel. Teach us more, friend! We need God’s words of wisdom via your pen!

    peace~elaine

  28. this is for amy i brooke,
    Thank you for sharing from your heart about how hard it has been for you and finding friends. In reading everyones posts I have come to realize that there are more of us women that are lonely than not. WOW….I think that I will try to not make anymore assumptions in my mind about why someone might not want to be my friend.

    I have had several really close friends over the years–they have for the most part been mothers of friends of my sons. As our children got older and chose different interests is when things seem to go bad. I don’t know if it was jealousy or what but I have really stayed away from this situation for my hearts sake. I have some real close “older women” friends now who have been through teenagers and offer me great advice but it still isn’t quite what I had experienced in the past.

    Amy, thanks for opening my eyes to your pain–i hope it will help me to be more friendly to others and take the opportunity to “open up” a bit to them.

    Kim from PA

  29. I have been blessed with friends over the years, but many of them are just for a season, and when that season is over, i miss them so much.

    one friend of mine has been with me through thick and thin. She has blessed me by sticking by me when she didn’t agree with my choices, when she was outright mad at me, and when she felt i was completely walking away from God. She was still there when I turned around, and started making right choices again, and we have stayed close ever since.

    I got married and our relationship changed some, we saw each other less, but we talked more on teh phone and email. Now she is heading overseas for a year mission trip, she has a boyfriend, and again our friendship has changed. but she still is the person who has stood the test of time, and I know that we will still be close when she gets back home in a year.

    In the meantime, God has blessed me with a very close friendship of an older woman, who’s children are grown. she has walked a tough path in her life, and speaks such wisdom into mine. She has been walking with me down the tough road of depression I have going through right now… and rejoicing with me when there is victory. She is someone with whom I feel extremely safe, and she feels safe with me. She and I have been able to share and pray for each other and genuinely enjoy each others company.

    She and I became fast friends at the start of this past summer, almost from the first time we met. WE haven’t known each other long, but it doesn’t matter. I feel complete trust in her and I know God gave me this friendship/sisterhood with her. He heard my desperate cry for someone to be connected to who lived near me, unlike my other friend hours away. Up to this point it had been hard to connect to anyone even close to my age. She and I are just under 20 years apart in age, i could be her daughter, but truly sisters at heart.
    I thank God for her, because i have been so lonely up till this summer. Everytime I made a friend, they moved away. So i had given up trying anymore.
    God heard, God answered.

    May God do the same for others of us who are lonely and in need of friends right where they are at, physical, touchable people to reach out to.
    Love you all, and thank you for sharing your hearts.
    Heather

  30. Mocha with Linda says:

    Thought I checked this blog daily. .. don’t know how I missed this.

    Friendship is indeed a struggle for me. I take friendship seriously, but most of the time my friendships have been pretty one-sided — meaning I’m the one who takes most of the initiative. I don’t keep score, but after a while it would be nice to have someone call ME instead of the other way around.

    In the past year I have been very hurt by a close friend who moved away, dropped contact, then moved back and didn’t resume the friendship…i.e. didn’t even tell me she was back in town until I heard it from someone else. Our kids were best friends. We have had a couple of cordial email contacts since but there’s been no interest expressed in getting together. Now she is going through chemo for breast cancer. When I emailed her my sorrow and prayers for that, she invited me to come visit when I have some time. And I struggle with what to do. I’m a forgiving person, but I feel the need to protect my heart and that of my kids and I’m not sure it’s the wisest thing to do. (And to complicate things, our husbands do not see eye to eye on some major issues.)

    You’ve obviously struck quite a chord with this topic!

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